Hey Creighton Bluejay fans! Are you ready for a vacation? Travel and Transport is giving away 10 sets of airline tickets during the Creighton Bluejay’s Men’s Basketball season! The 10 lucky winners will be contacted to pick up their FREE airline tickets at our newest location, Travel Design Lounge, located in the Shops of Legacy at 168th and Center. Click here to register!
Restrictions may apply. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.
Get more at Insights.TravelandTransport.com
By now, you’ve heard the news that, in a close and historic vote, citizens of the United Kingdom have chosen to leave the European Union. The Brexit, as the referendum has been nicknamed, will not happen immediately. It will take at least a couple of years until the UK has completely left the EU. Still, the process will begin and the world has taken notice – particularly the financial markets.
What will this mean for travelers? How will it affect business travel? What will change? What will remain the same? There are many uncertainties and a lot of questions that still need to be answered. We’ve collected information from some of the most trusted sources to give you some insight about what this could mean for you if you’re planning international travel soon.
How will US travelers be affected by Brexit?
In the short term, your dollar will stretch a lot farther. Will hotels and airlines adjust to this change? It’s a little too soon to tell, however Money offers some ideas about how Brexit might change travel to the UK and to mainland Europe. CNN also has a great guide to Brexit and the implications it has for just about everyone in the world.
How will UK travelers be affected by Brexit?
“There will be no initial change in the way our people can travel, in the way our goods can move or the way our services can be sold,” stated British Prime Minister David Cameron after the referendum. While it’s true that little should change in the short term, there is one expensive exception: the British Pound Sterling, the UK’s currency, has fallen considerably. The BBC tells us how this will affect UK Citizens.
British low cost carriers such as EasyJet and Ryanair (which is Irish but operates heavily within the UK) have stated that the days of cheap fares between the UK and the rest of Europe could be numbered.
In addition, Scotland and Northern Ireland voters overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU – and there are uncertainties on whether these countries will work towards independence from the United Kingdom in order to remain members of the EU.
It’s far too early to know all of the changes that may happen. The BBC has a page of frequently asked questions that UK citizens are having, such as “Will I need a new passport?”, “Will I need a visa to travel to EU countries?” and perhaps most importantly, “How much French and Italian wine can I bring back into the country?”. The answers to most of these questions seem to be that nothing will change immediately and more details will emerge as discussions and negotiations occur between the British government, the EU and its member countries.
What do you think? How will the Brexit affect you? Will you plan a vacation to London or Edinburgh in the near future to take advantage of the exchange rate? How will it affect global commerce? What impact do you think it will have on business travel? Let us know on Twitter @TandTNews.
This step will not only help you get through security faster, it will also help security lines decrease overall and afford the TSA more time to focus on high risk travelers. You’ll be doing everyone a favor!
Airlines are helping
Some airlines have taken steps to minimize long lines. Delta Air Lines has implemented new security line enhancements in their Atlanta hub that include distributing lines across multiple “divestment points” that allow more travelers to get through security simultaneously. They’ve also introduced automated bin return systems. Delta claims that security lines will move approximately 30% faster with these new enhancements.
United has also redesigned security checkpoints at major airports such as Newark and Chicago O’Hare, and they’ve added and redeployed staff in key areas to better serve travelers going through security. They’ve also updated baggage processes to meet security and safety requirements. Read more about this at United’s website.
Stick to your booked flights as much as possible this summer. With airline load factors at record highs, availability on other flights could prove to be difficult to come by and could increase your airfare cost considerably. If you don’t have to make a change, it will be best not to.
Travel and Transport can help!
If you’re a Travel and Transport customer, you might notice that we have updated our upcoming trip notifications to advise travelers to arrive early and anticipate delays. In addition, our Dash Mobile app features live airport wait times that can give travelers a great indication of when they need to leave for the airport.
Travel and Transport is excited to announce the latest release to our Dash Mobile app: Dash Mobile 2.11.
In this release, we have added enhanced airport maps! Dash Mobile now provides indoor terminal maps for the most popular airports around the world. Found in the ‘Services’ tab of Dash Mobile, this feature provides maps and tips to help you navigate an unfamiliar airport.
Enhanced airport maps are available in the iOS version of Dash Mobile. Look for this functionality will be added to Android soon!
Last year at GBTA Convention 2015, Travel and Transport announced our big data solution, which aggregates expense data and card data with back-office data with many other streams of travel, financial and other data to produce visualizations and predictive metrics that will give travel managers better decision making ability. We have been working hard on this revolutionary system and are excited to show it off at GBTA Convention 2016 in Denver. Look for more updates as we get closer to the event and be sure to visit us in person if you’re attending!
Whether you live alone or you have a house full of children, staying connected to what’s going on at home while you’re hundreds or thousands of miles away can be a challenge. Everybody has a handle on the tools like Skype and Facetime that help you communicate with friends and family while traveling, but what about managing the security of your home – or just knowing what’s going on while you’re away? How do you make sure that deliveries are put in the right spot when you aren’t there to bring them inside?
Things like weigh on everyone’s minds when they’re away from home. New technology tools can help us keep an eye on what’s going on when we leave the house each day. Here are a few of them:
Ring Video Doorbell
Ring is a doorbell that connects to your home internet connection and let’s you know via your smartphone when somebody’s at the door – wherever you’re at in the world. Its built-in camera and motion detectors will detect any activity around your door, and you’re even able to communicate with the person at the door. It’s great for telling delivery people where to put your package, or for making it seem like you’re at home to someone who may have intentions of breaking in – even if you’re on the other side of the world. Video of activity caught by Ring’s wide angle camera is saved to the cloud so that you can review it and save it when needed. People have used Ring to identify burglars. Others have used it to make sure their teenagers aren’t coming home too late. However you think you’ll use it, Ring is a pretty interesting home automation tool that can really help people when they aren’t at home. It costs between $199 and $249 depending on the model you choose and installation is pretty simple.
Phillips Hue lights
There are lots of expensive and hard to manage security systems on the market. Canary is a little different. It’s a cylindrical device with a camera on it that sits in your house and keeps an eye on things. It automatically activates when you (or others in your home) leave the house and will turn off when you get home. When Canary detects activity, it will alert you via your smartphone. You’ll be able to see video of what was detected and then you can choose to alert authorities and/or sound a 90 dB alarm. That’s pretty loud and should scare an intruder off in a hurry.
Canary also lets you randomly check in on what’s going on in your house while you’re away. You can activate the camera to check on kids, pets, contractors or whatever you’ve got going on in your home. It will also monitor things like air quality, temperature and humidity.
Canary costs $199 for a single device. You can add additional devices that will work together if you’ve got a larger home. The basic plan is free, but you can add more video storage and additional monthly downloads for between $5 and $30 a month.
Home automation tools like Ring, Phillips Hue and Canary can really be of help to you in managing what’s going on in your home while you’re not there. Do you use any of these tools? What do you think of them? Let us know on Twitter!
Look for other technologies that will help travelers manage their homes while they’re not in them in future posts, including smart locks, thermostats and more.
The sharing economy continues to be a big topic of discussion in the business travel community. Services like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb and others are certainly disrupting the ground transportation and lodging markets. One recent study from expense reporting provider Certify showed they surpassed car rental and taxis in terms of spend for the first quarter of 2016. Numerous other studies show that these services are certainly on the increase in terms of popularity.
With this in mind, Travel and Transport decided to find out what our clients thought. We polled 60 travel managers and over 200 travelers from some of our top clients. While far from scientific, we did obtain some interesting feedback regarding where sharing economy services fit into managed business travel programs right now – and some insight on how that might change in the future.
What level of interest is there for sharing economy services among travelers? Do corporate travel policies address these services? Does safety play a role in the decision to use services like Uber, Lyft or Airbnb? What about customer loyalty programs? Check out our infographic to find out what we learned.
Have any thoughts or insights regarding the sharing economy? Do factors like safety, cost and loyalty programs play a role in your selection process? Let us know on Twitter @TandTNews or send us a message. We’d love to hear from you!
If you’re interested in seeing the raw data and direct (anonymous) feedback we received in PDF format, just fill out this quick form below.
Our phones link most of the aspects of our lives together. For the business traveler, a phone is more than a collection of numbers and appointments; it’s your connection to home. It can tell you if your gate has changed before the airport does and let you know the wait times to get through TSA so you can decide if it’s worth it to grab a coffee for your Uber ride to the airport.
With our reliance on this technology, it’s even more important to know how to handle the unthinkable. What if your phone dies?
There’s two primary ways phones “die.” They can run out of battery—a likely situation when we use them from the moment we wake up, since most of us use our phones as an alarm. Or, phones can just stop working. Maybe you accidentally dropped it. Maybe your six-year-old poured some milk on your iPhone when she was aiming for the Cap’n Crunch. Then there’s the unthinkable third option—your phone is lost or stolen.
The key to surviving a phone disaster? Preparation.
Back-up your phone regularly. There are apps and cloud-based data solutions that make it easy to keep your information backed-up and up-to-date. Both iPhones and Android-based phones have auto-backup features. If you would prefer a secondary method of back up, try out Dropbox and Dropsync. While Dropsync is not an official product of Dropbox, it does a great job of syncing your local information and its remote equivalent.
Have an extra battery option. I keep a phone charger in my purse, at home and at work. You can’t always find an outlet when you’re traveling, though. Consider a portable battery. Before being forced to go camping last summer, I bought myself a portable battery in case I needed to recharge my phone or Kindle while in the wild. My specific spare battery is a little heavy for the business traveler who packs light, but there are many lightweight options to choose from. If a clunky external battery isn’t your thing, charging cases are increasingly helpful and stylish.
Write down important numbers. When your phone dies, with it goes access to your most important contacts. Before you’re able to replace your phone and download those contacts from the cloud, you might need to get ahold of your assistant, travel counselor or baby sitter. Have those numbers ready.
Consider cell phone insurance on top of travel insurance. If you lose your phone at home, there’s a good chance you have a spare lying around that will get you through. But when you’re traveling, your options are limited. Many cell phone carriers offer insurance that will replace or fix your phone for a small deductible. If you have a corporate phone, contact your company’s telecommunications department to find out what your options are. (You should add their contact information to your list of numbers.)
No matter how much you prepare, you can still lose access to your phone. If that happens to you, stay calm.
If your phone has been stolen, you will want to make a police report. Contact your company if it’s a corporate phone or your network provider if it’s your personal phone. They will be able to talk you through your options and, more importantly, cut off your phone so no one else can use it. If you have an app that allows you to remotely delete data off your phone, like Find My iPhone or Android Device Manager, set that in motion! Both can help you wipe sensitive personal or financial data from your phone. In addition, your employer will likely be able to remotely wipe your company-issued phone to ensure that their data is safe.
When your phone is lost or stolen, it’s not just hardware that’s at risk—your data is in danger as well. We keep our lives on our phones. We carry personal information, financial information, potentially sensitive company information, photos and much, much more on these devices. Since your phone houses more than your top score in Candy Crush, it’s essential to turn on your security features. All phones offer a passcode or PIN entry for secure access. Some offer pattern recognition. The latest models from Apple, Samsung, LG and HTC even offer fingerprint scanners.
If you have your phone, but it’s broken beyond repair, call your network provider for options (including expedited shipping of a new cell!).
How do you stay prepared when traveling? Let us know in the comments!
In the fast paced world of retail, it’s imperative that you are working with a travel organization that understands the demands of the industry.
Below are the top 10 travel services that all retail organizations should have to ensure a successful and healthy travel program.
1. Store Opening Details: Detailed planning and perfectly executed launches of store openings are imperative to success. Travel and Transport understands the quick ramp up time that is required for these events and prepares our travel teams through training exercises to be agile and nimble to ensure the travel accommodations are handled in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.
2. Direct Billing Needs: Hiring and recruiting is an integral element for the retail industry. Employees that handle these responsibilities may not have access to corporate credit cards. Travel and Transport provides customers with Secure Pay, an exclusive hotel pre-payment option that generates a virtual credit card for hotel bookings. When an applicable hotel is booked using an approved credit card, we will assign a one-time use, unique card for each hotel stay. Secure Pay significantly cuts down on the risk of fraudulent activity that can occur with a ghost card by assigning a new card number for each hotel booking. It also allows travelers the convenience to book reservations online without incurring an agent-assistance fee.
3. Cost Savings Focus: With the increase in minimum wage that affects the retail industry, cost savings is a critical component to your travel program. Travel and Transport Account Managers constantly take a pro-active approach to offering and finding cost savings solutions that positively impact our clients. In 2015, our Account Management team was able to offer our clients on average over 22% in value added savings.
4. Hotel Negotiations: Additional cost savings can be obtained through Travel and Transport’s unique approach to designing and maximizing hotel programs for our retail clients. Access to multiple channels and platforms allows us to assemble a strategy by client vs. taking a one-size fits all approach. Specifically for retail hub cities such as San Francisco, New York, Dallas, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, London and Hong Kong we leverage the combination of volume and consistency in hotel use and stay patterns to support productive rate negotiations in these markets. As these markets also tend to be the most volatile for room rates – we leverage proprietary technology to check and re-check for lower rates between the time of reservation and check-in
5. Unused Ticket Management: Tracking airline tickets that go unused for any number of reasons, including employee turnover is imperative in monitoring overall cost savings. Travel and Transport provides Banx, our proprietary nonrefundable ticket tracking technology, that reduces the spoilage of eligible nonrefundable tickets by proactively tracking unused tickets, notifying travelers and travel counselors of available unused tickets, and automatically reusing tickets. Our clients experience an average spoilage rate three times less than the industry average.
6. Special Service Funds: The ability to use waivers and favors with your airline contract is an added cost savings initiative. Tracking of these perks can often be a very time consuming process for travel managers. Travel and Transport has eliminated this burden by providing detailed tracking procedures that keep all waivers and favors managed and easily accessible.
7. Budgetary Evaluations: Retail organizations have many areas that have separate budgets and operating expenses. From business units to merchandizing centers, to store operations, we have created specific ways to separate these areas so that budgets can be appropriately monitored and allocated.
8. Driving Value: Regional meetings can become costly when planning meals for large groups of individuals. To add cost savings to your program, Travel and Transport partners with Dinova, a management and savings tool for corporate restaurant spend. Once an employee selects an approved restaurant and the bill is paid for by a company credit card, Dinova registers the transaction and sends a rebate check to the traveler’s employer.
Travel and Transport has also created technology solutions that provide personalized experiences for the travel manager and traveler. Dash Portal provides secure and direct access to the tools a traveler and travel manager need. By taking secure credentials from single sign-on, users will receive a unique and personalized experience when accessing specific travel tools including their online booking tool, trip sharing options, past trips invoices, etc. In addition, travel managers are empowered to configure areas within Dash Portal that are relevant to their travelers and their organization. Travel managers will also appreciate seamless integration into their reporting and analytics tools without duplicating sign-on efforts.
Travel and Transport’s mobile app, Dash Mobile, keeps travelers up-to-date with gate departure information as well as important travel and security alerts. Our innovative touch-to-call application connects travelers with an experienced Travel and Transport travel counselor who will have the traveler’s specific information and is ready to assist 24/7/365. Dash Mobile is available for iPhone, Windows and Android devices, as well as wearable devices.
9. Attention to No Fly Rules: In the retail sector, large movements of individuals are required to attend fashion shows and other industry events such as Fashion Week and Magic. Travel and Transport places special attention and sets many “no fly rules” within their booking system to accommodate the organization’s requirements.
10. Detailed Reporting: Reporting is a critical factor for all companies; however, we find that retail organizations are more apt to have specific groups that require a fresh approach to reporting. As such, we have developed an approach that is configured as a part of the reservation. Once a trigger is activated, we are able to confirm the travelers are part of the room block and provide a list of who has booked their travel for that specific show, meeting or event. This detailed report provides an added benefit, allowing us to monitor the attrition rate to ensure hotel commitments are being met.
With a portfolio of over 75 retail and high-end fashion clients, Travel and Transport has dedicated resources to understanding the specific needs of our retail customer base and have developed the tools and solutions that are essential for retail focused travel management programs. Contact us today to find out more!
We’ve got some great new features in Dash Mobile!
The ability to begin the hotel check-in process has returned to Dash Mobile. Touching “Check In” will instantly connect you to the hotel property’s mobile app (if available) or website to complete the check-in process.
Missing Hotel Booking
If your itinerary does not contain a hotel for all destinations, we’ll send you an alert five days prior to travel.
Apple Watch Update
Dash Mobile for Apple Watch has been updated to support watchOS 2. It will let you call your agent or your hotel from your watch! You’ll feel like a secret agent.
What are you waiting for! You can get Dash Mobile now for iOS or Android!
Your flight is booked, accommodations reserved and your passport is up-to-date. Besides packing and preparing your house for travel, what else do you need before your departure? One important piece of international travel that can fall to the wayside is doing research on local laws and customs. This has been highlighted with recent reports of American travelers being detained for unknowingly bringing banned substances into Mexico.
In these cases, travelers were stopped at customs, searched and arrested for bringing cold and sinus medications containing pseudoephedrine into Mexico, according to CBS Local in Chicago and KLS in Salt Lake City, Utah. Even after contacting the American Consulate, the recommended attorneys required costly fees to resolve the matter.
Not only are cold and sinus medications under scrutiny, but inhalers and some allergy medications as well, according to the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico website. Travelers needing these medications are advised to carry a prescription or doctor’s letter; however, keep in mind it is still possible to be detained if the medication is considered a controlled substance. Consider bringing along medications that do not include pseudoephedrine or purchase over the counter medication when you arrive.
It’s important for travelers to research their destinations prior to travel thoroughly. Websites such as U.S. Passports & International Travel can provide travelers with beneficial information on alerts and warnings, travel document requirements, local laws and customs, emergency preparedness and consulate information. It is also recommended to register your trip with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), which is a free service that provides travel alerts and warnings on specific destinations, as well as providing the U.S. Embassy your contact information in case of an emergency.
As Events by Travel and Transport and Ultramar prepares to celebrate and participate in Global Meetings Industry Day we would like to reach out to you to help us celebrate and recognize the importance of this day.
GMID marks the expansion of North American Meetings Industry Day (NAMID), previously held in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and parts of Latin America. Meetings Mean Business will again join forces with the Convention Industry Council (CIC) and other industry partners, including MPI, to host advocacy events and rallies, issue proclamations and champion the value of the meetings and events industry.
GMID will showcase the real impact that business meetings, conferences, conventions, incentive travel, trade shows, and exhibitions have on people, business, and communities.
Significant Driver of Economic Growth and Jobs
- The meetings industry contributes more to U.S. national GDP than the air transportation, motion picture, sound recording, performing arts and spectator sport industries. It is an economic engine, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, generating billions of dollars in revenue and supporting communities across the country.
- According to a study by PwC, the meetings industry contributed more than $280 billion to the U.S. national economy and put another $88 billion back into the economy through federal, state and local taxes in 2012. A driver of job growth, meetings increased employment even during the economic downturn. In 2012, meetings employed nearly 1.8 million people and generated $234.6 billion in total labor income.
Driving Business Success
- An Oxford Economics report highlights the industry’s value to businesses, finding that companies that invested more in business travel during the economic downturn grew the fastest.Every dollar invested in business travel realizes $9.50 in new revenue and produces $2.90 in profits.
- Business travelers reported that they are nearly twice as likely to convert prospects into customers with an in-person meeting than without one.
- More than 42% of executives stated that they would lose customers without face-to-face meetings.
- Meetings and events deliver profits, help win new accounts, serve as education platforms and allow colleagues and partners to come together to innovate and achieve results.
- Organizations depend on face-to-face meetings to win new customers, close new deals and develop high-performing talent. The business outcome of a face-to-face meeting far exceeds any other.
- The ability to sit down one-on-one with colleagues and leaders across industries provides for instant collaboration and real-time productivity.
- Conventions and conferences serve as critical education platforms for professionals and are key components for developing advanced skills and workforce training.
Here are some ways you can help us celebrate and recognize the importance of meetings to you and your organization:
- Visit the GMID website at meetingsmeanbusiness.com/gmid to learn more about GMID events across the globe at www.meetingsmeanbusiness.com/gmid/events.
- Follow and take part in conversations surrounding GMID online at @MeetingsMeanBiz on Twitter and by using the hashtags #MMBusiness with #GMID16. Be sure to tag us at @TandTNews and @Ultramartravel.
- Reach out and thank a meetings or travel industry vendor and let them know you appreciate their contributions to the industry.
- Share the message with your meeting attendees to show them how they contribute as well.
Events by Travel and Transport and Ultramar are proud to participate in GMID and many of our team members are engaged at the local, national, and global levels to bring you innovative and cutting edge ideas and best practices from the industry to help you in your organization to show your value and the value meetings brings to your business.
Pamela Wynne, HMCC, CMM, CMP
Global Events Project Manager
Events by Travel and Transport and Ultramar
As we first told you about in January’s Travel Insight & Analysis Newsletter, there are new requirements for travelers entering Canada by air. As of March 15th these requirements are now in effect, although there is a leniency period for part of this year. According to the Government of Canada, “visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada are expected to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid Canadian visa. However, from March 15, 2016 until fall 2016, travelers who do not have an eTA can board their flight, as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport.”
Whether you need to obtain an ETA or not may depend on your country of citizenship, your Canadian visa status and where you are traveling from. That’s a lot of different combinations! US citizens with a valid passport entering Canada do not need an ETA. For those from other countries, please go to this site to find out what you need to get into Canada. You can also visit Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorization and Visitor Visa page for all other questions related to Canadian entry requirements.
Photo credit: Paul Bica: Used with Creative Commons license.